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K-9 raising funds for Xanto’s retirement

Kristen Garrett is a Morgan County Deputy K-9 officer that has an 11-year-old K-9 named Xanto.

Xanto has served for almost eight years now, and is too old for the work he needs to perform and needs to retire. He served three years in the Military K-9 program before being adopted by Garrett in 2007. In 2010, Xanto received the prestigious honor of becoming the first police K-9 to ever be inducted into the Alabama Animal Hall of Fame by the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association.

The cost of replacing the canine partner can be from $9,000- $12,000. This does not include the cost of extensive training for the two to bond together as a working team, which costs about $3,000.

Garrett has raised $5,360 to date through gofundme.com. Unfortunately, many police department K-9 units are suffering budget cuts due to the poor economy, or they are unable to solicit money due to town and municipality codes. As a result, some K-9 handlers forgo training or personally fund their dog’s needs, and in some communities, K-9’s may not be replaced upon retirement due to budgetary restrictions. For these reasons, many police K-9 units rely on donations to continue their mission.

If every resident in Decatur/Morgan County gave just $1, the replacement for Xanto would give the Morgan County K-9 unit a new dog.

There are donation jars in several local veterinary clinics including Ashwander Animal Clinic, Bryan Animal Clinic, Dishman Animal Clinic, Animal Tracks Veterinarian Hospital, Family Pet Health Care, Osborne Animal Clinic and Veterinary Regional Referral Hospital in Decatur and North Alabama Cat and Bird Hospital, Morgan Animal Hospital and County Line Veterinary Services in Hartselle.

“Xanto deserves to live out the remainder of his days living at home with the family he loves and enjoying a full, happy and relaxed life,” Garrett says.

Garrett wrote a poem for her “old man Z” entitled “It’s Time.”

If anyone would like to donate, please write a check to Morgan County K-9 unit and mail it to Diane Robichaud, 4709 Norris Mill Road, Hartselle, AL, 35640. Diane Robichaud is the Fund Chairman and a Decatur Alabama Kennel Club Lifetime Member.

Sheriff Ana Franklin has approved the Decatur Ala. Kennel Club to assist in raising funds for the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit and in helping to retire and replace K-9 Xanto.

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